LEADING superfine Saxon wool-growing family, the Crawfords of Victoria Valley, has won the prestigious annual Vitale Barberis Canonico Wool Excellence Award.
In Sydney last night, the family’s commitment of nearly 150 years to producing the highest quality Saxon Merino wool was rewarded with a $50,000 cash prize and a trip to Italy.
The celebration and award presentation were held at the Calyx in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, before an audience of VBC representatives, and VBC Wool Excellence Club members from New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, industry representatives and media.
Two generations of the Crawford family – Bill and Jenny Crawford and their son Will and his wife Prue – run the Sierra Park operation’s 15,000 sheep on about 6000 acres.
“We thank VBC for continuing to recognise the attributes of Saxon wool, which after all the pressure of technology, will allow us to continue breeding sheep we treasure,” Bill Crawford said.
VBC raw procurement manager David Fontaneto presented Bill, Jenny, Will and Prue with the award. They won a $50,000 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Italy to meet with Vitale Barberis Canonico representatives in the Biella region of Italy.
VBC said the award is a coveted honor for Wool Excellence Club members, who all strive to produce the best Saxon Merino and seek to gain the opportunity to observe the transformation of their wool through to luxurious fabrics.
Mr Fontaneto said the winning Sierra Park clip came from a family which could be considered as one of the leaders in Saxon merino production.
“The Crawford’s utilise the lessons and skills from their past whilst looking forward to the future. They have maintained their Saxon breeding and they are committed to WEC’s aims.
“The 2018 winning clip presented a thick, dense, resilient and sound staple with a tight but defined crimp,” he said.
“The wool from Sierra Park displays the model characteristics of the Saxon wool which is so valuable and sought after by VBC.
“The genetics, management and dedication by the Crawford family has elevated Sierra Park to a well-deserved winner,” Mr Fontaneto said.
To be eligible for the award growers must be members of the VBC Wool Excellence Club.
Members are specially selected by VBC using strict criteria and must demonstrate sustainable wool production and notably the attributes of superfine saxon Merino wool which is most highly regarded by Vitale Barberis Canonico for their high-end fabric production.
Mr Fontaneto said the club had more than 30 members.
“We have improved quantities and quality.
“We have succeeded in following and advancing our ideas, in producing great wool that in our hearts is the same word as passion,” he said.
“We are a strong group of people looking forward to the future.”
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